Quantifying physiological and neurological responses to organic motion patterns.
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Roy, Mahitha, 1996-
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The human body was designed to move, and the benefits of exercise and an active lifestyle are well known. However, many individuals live with neuromuscular conditions that limit movement and quality of life. One treatment strategy designed to help such individuals experience the benefits of movement is equine-assisted therapy. Complementing that is a mechanical horse-riding simulator developed to recreate the complex three-dimensional motion patterns of riding. The aim of this study is the development of methodologies to assess physiological effects on the human body from the impartation of riding motions. Areas of assessment investigated include force-plate balance measures, electromyography, and electroencephalography. Assessments were conducted with healthy adult individuals both before and after a session of riding. Methods to process the data are explored, and some results are analyzed. Of particular note, shifts were observed in electroencephalogram alpha power peaks that are associated with cognitive benefits.